Premier Member Q&A: AFL

Welcome to our Premier Member Q&A Blog Series. This is a chance to get to know some of our members and the great work they are doing to accelerate our connected fiber future.

This month, we’re excited to highlight Kevin Clayton, Senior Product Manager at AFL.

Tell us about your organization. What should people know about you?

AFL’s mission is to connect our customers around the world with innovative technologies, exceptional products and high quality services. Our vision is to positively impact communities by delivering superior solutions and our core values are shared among all AFL associates. These values drive our culture and priorities and provide a framework in which decisions are made.

Our Corporate Values include:

· Customers First

· Integrity

· Innovation

· Collaboration & Accountability

· Environment, Health & Safety

· Community Engagement

What are you currently bringing to market?

AFL provides industry-leading solutions, products and services to the energy, service provider, enterprise and industrial markets as well as a number of emerging markets.

We manufacture, engineer and install fiber optic products and associated equipment. We have an extremely broad product portfolio that includes: fiber optic cable, transmission and substation accessories, fiber outside plant equipment, fiber inside plant equipment, connectors and accessories, fusion splicers, test/ inspection equipment and training via Light Brigade.

AFL’s service portfolio includes market-leading positions with the foremost communications companies supporting central office, outside plant, wireless and enterprise applications.

Whether the need is to build or upgrade a network or apply the latest fiber optic technology, AFL connects customers with the solutions that fit every need and application.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the fiber industry today? What is your advice for overcoming it?

The desire for high speed broadband and huge demand for bandwidth within networks seems to be outpacing the capacity and growth plans of infrastructure itself, particularly in the United States. This is a complex issue with ties to legacy technologies such as copper/ coax, workforce evolution that is currently experiencing challenges and transitions as an entire generation of skilled labor is reaching retirement, legal and regulatory obstacles and many other industry as well as socio-economic factors.

The key to overcoming this challenge is collaboration. Industry associations such as the Fiber Broadband Association are key catalysts in the effort to bring together service providers, manufacturers, legislators and other key players across all the various market verticals to collaborate in leveraging what fiber technology can do to pave the way to a future which functions faster, ignites innovation and drives development worldwide!

What excites you about the future of fiber?

What excites me most is that fiber is a technology which enables efficiency that in turn improves all of our lives. The “Smart” trend is bringing new devices into our view that we once only could dream about in years past. We have all heard the phrase “time equals money”, but for me the time saved by having computers and mobile phones that respond nearly instantly to the tasks we need to accomplish is so awesome when compared to the time it used to take on previous technologies; such as the Dewey decimal system at the public library!

What’s your favorite show to stream with your fiber connection?

Right now, unfortunately I do not have access to fiber in the neighborhood I currently live in. That said, I am absolutely waiting on the first provider to bring it so I can enjoy the benefits of much higher speed broadband access. I am looking forward to the day when I can directly enjoy all the advantages that this fantastic medium of fiber has to offer!